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Hi,

The trunk on my '03 New Beetle Convertible refuses to open. I have read several existing threads on the topic, but have a convertible-specific question.

The symptoms:
* both the door switch and the remote trigger the blinking lights and the initial whirring sound, but not the more substantial latch-unlocking sound (so unlikely to be an electrical issue).
* the keyhole hidden in the VW logo does nothing
* the manual emergency release in the trunk does nothing
* the backseat pass-through is too tight for me to get access to anything else.

Is there any other way for me to get the trunk open, so that I can figure out what's wrong with the latch mechanism?

Thanks for the help,

-Nick
 

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Have you tried pushing on the trunk lid as you attempt to open with the button or the key? This could release some pressure on the latch and may allow it to function. In any event, keep us posted on your progress.
 

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My trunk release only works when I use my remote. The manual release or the inside car release don't seem to get it all the way unlatched. So I hope my remote never runs out of battery power. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I tried pushing while releasing, and it didn't help. Thanks for the suggestion though.

Oh well, brought it to the dealership this morning, I'll ask them how they got in and post the answer.

-Nick
 

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Hi, Just saw your recent post. Not sure what year is your Beetle. Mine is a 2007 GLS and I also cannot get the trunk release button to unlatch the trunk completely. But, it works from the key (for now). Please let me know what the dealer had to say about this. Thanks.
 

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Hey Indy Tom, this seems to be a very common problem for all years of used NB's from what I've read so far. I fixed the same problem on my daughters 99 NB by following the suggestion an older post that I came across.

Here's what would occur on my daughters NB:
The hatch would not open all the way when using the door button or the keyless remote. It would make a releasing popping sound and within a second a whirring sound would occur. When we would try to lift open after the whirring sound the hatch would not open. It was like it would re-latch a bit after 2 seconds.

If one person would stand at the hatch ready to lift it immediately after the door switch or keyless remote button was pressed, they could open it.

If they waited a second until after the whirring sound happened, it would not open. When turning the VW emblem open in the hatch and use the key, no problem, it would lift open if you immediately pulled the handle.

Turns out, the problem was resolved from a post I read that showed that the hatch hinges each have an 8mm bolt that can be adjusted (backed-out) to set some tension on the hatch hinges when they are folded closed. The bolt is backed out about 1/4 of an inch in the photo attached. The bolts in my hinges were flush - not backed out at all.

After gradually backing the two 8mm bolts evenly a quarter of a turn at a time and testing the remote and door switch opening each time, It eventually reached a point where the bolts were putting some tension on the gate hinges and cause the hatch to rise a bit more than before when unlatched.

Once adjusted correctly, if I released the hatch by the keyless remote button, or the door switch, it caused the hatch to rise about half an inch more than it did before the adjustments. That’s where I stopped adjusting and this stopped the hatch from re-latching and I could lift the hatch open every time after that.

It's been a month now since the adjustment and no more problems…it opens every time now.

Caution! If you try this procedure, be sure to only back the bolts out a little bit at a time just until it reaches enough tension to cause the hatch to raise a bit more than it used to...too much tension and I would imagine some steel hinge bending will start to occur.

My theory is that when the NB was brand new, the gas filled hatch struts had stronger lift pressure and would raise the hatch upon release just enough to prevent a re-latch, and over the years the gas struts weakened a bit.

I don’t want to spend the big bucks to buy a pair of new hatch struts from the VW stealership just to test my theory out.
I hope this helps someone.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Whoops, sorry I forgot to reply to this. This is a while back now, but as far as I can remember, the latch mechanism itself was broken. They were not able to open it using the two-person trick (I'd tried too), so they had to reach in through the ski pass-through to get it open. It ended up being about a $300 repair.

Thanks for the advice on this!

-Nick
 

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$534 to fix mine.

Broken latch mechanism. $250 parts, the rest labor to pull the rear seat backs out.

"Jimmy Hoffa" lever didn't work, and they forgot to fix the red pull tab, so back it goes.
 

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Broken latch mechanism. $250 parts, the rest labor to pull the rear seat backs out.

"Jimmy Hoffa" lever didn't work, and they forgot to fix the red pull tab, so back it goes.
ouch!!
My trunk won't open either..then a few days later, suddenly my windows and top also don't work, nor does the power locks.
Although when I was hitting the trunk release switch in the door, I could hear a relay clicking above the foot well. So I'm about to go out now and start checking relays..lol
 

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The symptoms:

* the keyhole hidden in the VW logo does nothing


Wait, there is a hidden keyhole? Where is it hidden? Was this only in certain year NBC's? My Owner's Manual says nothing about this!

It would be a simple thing to put a keyhole in something as important as a trunk lid instead of relying on motors for everything!!
 

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The symptoms:

* the keyhole hidden in the VW logo does nothing


Wait, there is a hidden keyhole? Where is it hidden? Was this only in certain year NBC's? My Owner's Manual says nothing about this!

It would be a simple thing to put a keyhole in something as important as a trunk lid instead of relying on motors for everything!!
They had a keyhole on earlier models.

I fixed mine today.
reached in through the little access door in back seat, pulled the manual trunk release thingy. Pulled the cover off inside of trunk lid and found a broken wire going into release motor. Soldered it back on and all is good.
It was popping the #14 fuse which also controls windows, door locks, roof, etc
 

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In re: "Manual trunk release thingy"

They had a keyhole on earlier models.

I fixed mine today.
reached in through the little access door in back seat, pulled the manual trunk release thingy. Pulled the cover off inside of trunk lid and found a broken wire going into release motor. Soldered it back on and all is good.
It was popping the #14 fuse which also controls windows, door locks, roof, etc

~~~
So, having this exact problem and was in the hatch back via rear seats last night, but do not see any "manual trunk release thingy". Any pics available??? What trim do I all need to pull off, any ideas? Thanks.

:confused:
 

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~~~
So, having this exact problem and was in the hatch back via rear seats last night, but do not see any "manual trunk release thingy". Any pics available??? What trim do I all need to pull off, any ideas? Thanks.

:confused:
Do you remember seeing a little red plastic knob on the inside of the trunk door? If you reach in, twist and pull that out, it will release the trunk....I'll be back with pics

here's the lever


But if you can't reach it, you can pull this red thingy out and pull it (does same thing)
 

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~~~
So, having this exact problem and was in the hatch back via rear seats last night, but do not see any "manual trunk release thingy". Any pics available??? What trim do I all need to pull off, any ideas? Thanks.

:confused:
It appears the emergency manual trunk release went into effect in Sept 2001, which would have been for the beginning of the 2002 model year cars. Anything older than 2002 model year would not likely have the emergency manual trunk release unless the manufacturer voluntarily installed them. Not sure if VW installed any before the 2002 model year law??

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2000/10/20/00-27038/federal-motor-vehicle-safety-standards-interior-trunk-release
 

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This was my broken wire..which was triping a fuse everytime I tried to open the trunk. It connects to the little motor that releases the trunk lid

 

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Do you remember seeing a little red plastic knob on the inside of the trunk door? If you reach in, twist and pull that out, it will release the trunk....I'll be back with pics

here's the lever


But if you can't reach it, you can pull this red thingy out and pull it (does same thing)
Hello all! I have a 2006 Beetle Convertible and trouble with the boot since 2 days ago. It will not open using either the button in the cabin or the remote. I proceeded to use the red emergency boot release cable through the back seats and the boot opened until my husband came along to test the cables in the boot, closed the boot and when the boot still wouldn't open used the red emergency release cable again and broke it! Now the boot is still closed and the release cable is broken!! He's now taking the back seats off to see if he'll get enough room to get into the boot (he's done it before so I know I can trust him on this one) I may have to end up bringing the car to a dealer to fix the boot locking issue but do you know if they will be able, and whether they will also be able to fix the release cable? Thanks for the help!
Angeles
 

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The Red release cable is a simple fix (once you get the boot open)!

Unscrew the panel that holds the glow in the dark "Jimmy Hoffa" lever, unscrew the fixtures that hold the interior cover onto the boot lid, and you can feed a replacement red cable into the interior of the boot lid.

As I recall, there is an obvious place to hook the oval shaped end of the red cable onto the latch mechanism. Once it is in place, you can operate the latch by hand and pull on the red cable to confirm that it is in place correctly before reinstalling all of the interior pieces.

You may wish to buy two of the cables, as they aren't very stout, and you may have to do this again! I think they were less than $10 US.

Oh that they should have left a key latch in place for the boot.
 
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